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Psychological and Psychiatric Consequences of Inhalants

  • Stephen H. Dinwiddie
Chapter

Abstract

Easily available, inexpensive, simple to conceal, and legal to possess, inhalants occupy a peculiar position among substances of abuse. Even defining the group of substances to be discussed has proven difficult, and terms such as glue-sniffing, solvent use, or volatile substance use have been suggested. Classifying these substances as inhalants, though perhaps the least misleading practice, is overly broad: Many psychoactive substances are, or can be, inhaled, yet cannabis, cocaine, or heroin are not classified as inhalants. Conversely, nitrite vasodilators or anesthetic gases, though sharing with the inhalants the route of ingestion, differ markedly in pharmacologic and toxicologic properties as well as the populations at risk for use, and are generally not considered to be members of the same class of abusable substance. What is left, therefore, is a heterogeneous collection of fuel gases, industrial solvents, cleaning agents, paints, and related compounds, sharing a common route of use and some chemical and pharmacological characteristics (Beauvais & Oetting, 1987).

Keywords

Psychoactive Substance Antisocial Personality Disorder Heroin Addict Psychiatric Consequence Research Monograph 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen H. Dinwiddie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryFinch University of Health Sciences, The Chicago Medical SchoolNorth ChicagoUSA

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